Am Yisrael SJS Highlights: Sun, May 21 as we close the 5777 Academic Year

Limmud Collage 5-26-17

Dear Am Yisrael SJS Community,

The following topics are covered in this week’s Limmud/Education Update:

I. Thank You and we wish you a fantastic summer

II. Keeping Hebrew Reading and Tefillah Skills Fresh During the Summer

III. Special Message for Rising 8th Graders and their families

IV. Summer Job Opportunity

V. SJS Tzedakah 5777 Allocations and Totals

VI. Little Kids Sing at SJS

VII. Looking Ahead*

I. Thank You and we wish you a fantastic summer

We want to take this time to thank our Am Yisrael SJS families for partnering with us throughout the year, including this past weekend which included Shabbat Family Programming (SFP), several honorees, the Chugim Open House, the Pardes Reflections speeches and our Closing Assembly.  We also want to thank you for the outstanding number of food and supply donations that were provided for the Ark’s pantry.  We will reach out to you at various points throughout the summer as we will be planning our curricula and programming for the upcoming school year.  Please know that I am a call or email away and happy to talk with you throughout the summer.

We have so enjoyed sharing this school year with you and we send our best wishes to everyone for a fantastic summer.  My wife Laura and our children Michael, Gabe and Amelia and I will miss seeing you on a regular basis as we do during the school year.  We hope to see you at various points either around Chicagoland and/or at the synagogue during the summer.

II. Keeping Hebrew Reading and Tefillah Skills Fresh During the Summer

Speaking of the summer, we strongly encourage our SJS students to keep their Hebrew skills fresh.  We especially expect our rising 3rd through 7th graders to use these direct links below and/or to read Hebrew regularly using other similar Tefillah/Hebrew materials.

Practicing Tefillah

https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html

Hebrew Reading

https://www.amyisrael.org/hebrew-step-by-step.html

As you may remember, for security purposes, we decided to make some of our website pages visible only to our members and other authorized individuals.  These pages include the bulletin, the calendar, upcoming events, membership directory and our SJS pages.

If you wish to set up your log in account, please email our Executive Director, Nancy Holab Nevins nhnevins@amyisrael.org to let us know.  Once Nancy receives that email, she will send you a link that will enable you to set up your log in credentials, as you are accustomed to doing on most websites.  Your user ID will be your email address.  Your password will be your choice.  You will need to log in any time you wish to access those pages, but once you have created your log in credentials, you won’t need to contact us again. You’ll simply log in.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but these are challenging times, and certain precautions must be taken.  Thank you for understanding.

III. Special Message for Rising 8th Graders and their families

Dear Soon-To-Be 8th Graders and Parents,

Ta’am Yisrael is a meaningful and fun week-long experience in Israel for 8th graders in the Chicagoland area.  We invite you to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of Israel!  Connect with the people and the land!  Meet 8th graders from Chicago and Israel!  Interested in learning more about the trip?

As someone who has staffed this trip in Israel, I strongly encourage you to attend an information session and to RSVP at www.taamyisrael.org:

 • Mon, Jun 5, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Shir Hadash Synagogue, 200 W Dundee Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090

 • Tue, Jun 6, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022

 • Wed, Jun 7, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Beth Shalom, 772 W 5th Ave, Naperville, IL 60563

 • Mon, Jun 12, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613

 • Tue, Jun 13, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., 3480 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60657

Shabbat Shalom,

Mr. Sherman/Charlie

PLEASE NOTE: This special message to rising 8th graders and their families will be sent as a separate email as well to make sure it doesn’t get lost with the rest of the information in this week’s Limmud/Education Update 5-26-17.

IV. Summer Job Opportunity

Ramah Day Camp is looking for warm, nurturing, energetic college age counselors and sports staff. Interested? Contact Lori Stark at director@ramahday.com. Make a difference in the lives of young Jewish children and join the camaraderie of a great staff.

V. SJS Tzedakah 5777 Allocations and Totals

At our closing assembly this past Sun, May 21, we announced our Tzedakah totals and the places where the classes decided they want to donate the money that they brought in throughout the year.  Our grand totals for the year, including where the classes decided to donate, can be found below:

Camp Am Yisrael: $36.44

Keshet: 100%

Gan: $94.45

Ark: 50%

Israel Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 50%

Aleph: $97.31

Ark: 50%

Israel Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 50%

Bet: $172.95

Israel Sports Center for the Disabled 60%

Lurie Children’s Hospital 40%

Gimel: $143.37

Israel Sports Center for the Disabled 50%

Israel Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 25%

Les Turner ALS Foundation 25%

Dalet: $164.35

American World Jewish Services 20%

Composting Program (run by SJS student’s Jacob and Kylie Brodsky’s mom, Becky Brodsky) 20%

Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) 20%

Lurie Children’s Hospital 20%

Northfield Food Pantry 20%

-Dalet also had a tree planted in Israel through JNF

Heh: $158.39

Israel Sports Center for the Disabled 20%

Lurie Children’s Hospital 20%

Ark 20%

IDF 20%

JUF 20%

-Heh also had a tree planted in Israel through JNF

Vav: $138.01

Cantor’s Garden (Produce goes to the Northfield Food Pantry) 100%

-The Kadima Chug of Vav also had trees planted in Israel through JNF in honor of Rabbi Newman Kamin, Mrs. Holab Nevins, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Bogucki, Ms. deSouza, Mrs. Naranjo, Mr. Brown and Mr. Wilson

Zayin: $78.92

Cantor’s Garden (Produce goes to the Northfield Food Pantry) 100%

-The Kadima Chug of Zayin also had trees planted in Israel through JNF in honor of Rabbi Newman Kamin, Mrs. Holab Nevins, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Bogucki, Ms. deSouza, Mrs. Naranjo, Mr. Brown and Mr. Wilson

Prozdor: $62.25

Ark 50%

Family Promise 50%

Pardes: $70.25

Save Our Hungry Children 50%

Lurie Children’s Hospital 50%

Total: $1,216.69

VI. Little Kids Sing at SJS

Every year we have parents who say that their younger kids love to sing what they have learned at Am Yisrael SJS but they can’t remember the tunes.  Here is a link for you to access while you are on a summer drive or just hanging around your home:

https://www.amyisrael.org/little-kids-sing-at-sjs.html

*Special Note: Our synagogue’s Executive Director Nancy Holab Nevins sends a weekly email entitled “Am Yisrael Events” and a monthly bulletin.  These are good sources of information and include materials for the congregation on the whole that go beyond the scope of my weekly emails.  If you are only receiving my weekly email and want additional information regarding the congregation, Nancy can be reached in the synagogue office at 847-446-7215 or via email nhnevins@amyisrael.org.

Shabbat Shalom,

Charlie Sherman

Am Yisrael SJS Highlights: Sun, May 14 & Wed, May 17, 2017

Jason Milch

Camp Am Yisrael: Learn-By-Play (0-3 year olds)

We look forward to seeing our youngest students with their families for our final session of this school year.  We will talk about where to donate the Tzedakah money that the group collected and our plans for the future.  We can’t wait to sing with you and see you learn-by-play!  -Mr. Sherman

Gan (3-6 year olds) 

We discussed what prayers we would put in the Western Wall.  They are very thoughtful wishes/prayers and are listed on the door of our classroom.  We learned about the holiday of Lag B’Omer.  You should check out our pretend bonfire we made hanging in the hallway.  Shira and Tefillah were big hits as usual. -Morah Lynn

Aleph (1st Grade) 

This week the Aleph students learned their last letter of the alphabet: kaf.  The students also learned about returning items that they have found that do not belong to them in a Shaboom episode: “Finders Returners: The Lost and Found Episode.”  Finally, the Aleph students decided to donate their Tzedakah this year to the Ark and Israel Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It has been a wonderful year and I have truly enjoyed working with your children.  Have a great summer!  -Mrs. Berlow

Bet (2nd Grade) 

Shalom,

We started our day by working with the Hebrew Step-By-Step folders and practicing reading. The beautiful weather gave us a chance to have our Hebrew Through Movement (HTM) session outside.  Then we had a question and answer session where the students asked any questions they had about modern Israel and we looked for answers together.  We ended our day with a wonderful Tefillah. -Morah Anna

Gimel (3rd Grade) 

Shalom Gimel Families,

This was our final ShalomLearning Jewish values lesson of this school year, with the completion of the seventh and final unit of the curriculum.  We finished by playing a game show, incorporating each of the seven values that we studied and experienced in the classroom and with our families throughout the school year: Teshuvah (Taking Responsibility for our Actions), B’Tzelem Elohim (Honoring the image of God in ourselves and others), Gevurah (Using one’s inner strength to do what’s right), Achrayut (Doing what you can to make the world a better place), Hakarat HaTov (Seeking joy and being grateful), Koach Hadibbur (Understanding the power of words) and Shalom (Helping to create a calmer, more peaceful world).

Recap:

  • Students reviewed the names and meanings of all 7 unit values covered throughout the year.
  • Students used their knowledge and personal experiences to relate previous values to the value of Shalom.
  • Students explored a variety of ways we create peace within our families.

Table Talk: Share how you will make the world a better place until you continue ShalomLearning next year!

Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your child’s life this year as we studied Jewish values and Ivrit together.  We look forward to your continued learning next year, as Jewish learning is truly a lifelong process that gives you a wonderful way to look at the world and maintain the Jewish tradition for you, your family and future generations.

B’Shalom,

Mrs. Sender & Morah Myra

Dalet (4th Grade)

I can not believe the school year is coming to an end.  It is was a pleasure to teach my Dalet  students this year, who showed so much love for learning to read from the Siddur. I am excited to teach them again next year.  I wish everyone a healthy and safe summer.
In order to access the prayers that the students as a whole chant so beautifully and to keep the skills fresh, please go to the following link on our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html.  -Mrs. Moustakis

Heh (5th Grade)

It is hard to believe that this school year is coming to an end and that my students are going to be going to be in the Vav class next year. I will miss teaching you.  You are such a great class.  Please continue to do well with all the Jewish values you have learned this year.  I wish you a healthy and safe summer.  In order to access the prayers that the students as a whole chant so beautifully and to keep the skills fresh, please go to the following link on our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html.  -Mrs. Moustakis

Shalom,

We had a great year together, and I greatly enjoyed teaching Kitah Heh.  It was a pleasure watching you all grow and learn.  Thank you so much!  I hope you have a great summer, filled with memories, laughs, and lots of Hebrew!  The direct link on our website that I referred to in your report cards to keep your Hebrew skills fresh is:  https://www.amyisrael.org/hebrew-step-by-step.html-Morah Anna

 

During our second to last week of Torah Trope class, the Heh students took and in-depth look at the Chumash, noting the books, parashot, and aliyot markings.  -Mr. Lerner

This week our Heh class discussed Pirkei Avot.  Students were broken up into small groups and each had an excerpt from Pirkei Avot to study together. Thank you for a great year.  I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer.  -Morah Sandra

Vav (6th Grade)

This week we started to learn about the Knesset, how it works and where it is located. We learned how many seats there are, who gets a seat and how the Prime Minister is elected.  I would encourage you to please ask your child for the details. Also please ask your child what it means to elect a party, not a person.  Have a great Shabbat!                     -Mr. Arnet

During our final week of B’nai Mitzvah Academy, the Vav students took and in-depth look at the Chumash, noting the books, parashot, and aliyot markings.  We reviewed the blessings after the haftarah, and also learned about the triennial Torah reading system, used here at Am Yisrael.  It has been a great honor and privilege to teach your children this past year.  L’hitra-ot-Mr. Lerner
This week our Vav Class spent much of our time together creating a project to give back to Am Yisrael.  Thank you for a great year.  I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer.    -Morah Sandra

Zayin (7th Grade)

This week we started to learn about the Knesset, how it works and where it is located. We learned how many seats there are, who gets a seat and how the Prime Minister is elected.  I would encourage you to please ask your child for the details. Also please ask your child what it means to elect a party, not a person.  Have a great Shabbat!                     -Mr. Arnet

This week in Zayin we spoke about anti-Semitism in the United States and globally and how it is similar/different than in the past.  One student mentioned an interesting current event relating Israel’s commemoration of 70 years since the end of the Holocaust.  The students explored anti-Semitism in Europe, specifically and how it has evolved over the years.   Thank you for a wonderful year!  Have a great summer!

B’Shalom,

Mrs. Sender

This week our Zayin class spent much of our time together creating a project to give back to Am Yisrael.  Thank you for a great year.  I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer.    -Morah Sandra

Prozdor (8th Grade)

This week we started to learn about the Knesset, how it works and where it is located. We learned how many seats there are, who gets a seat and how the Prime Minister is elected.  I would encourage you to please ask your child for the details. Also please ask your child what it means to elect a party, not a person.  We also spent a moment looking over a very famous line from last weeks Torah portion. The line was “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  We spent some time discussing in class what this pasuk (verse) means and what we learn from it.  Have a great Shabbat! -Mr. Arnet

Pardes (9th & 10th Grades)

On May 14, Pardes students reflected upon their recent field trips to Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest and Islamic Foundation North in Libertyville.  Although keenly interested in the similarities we share and respectful of our differences, students expressed their gratitude for being born Jewish, and appreciated the familiarity and comfort of their home at Am Yisrael. -Cantor Simon

Am Yisrael SJS Highlights: Sun, May 7 & Wed May 10, 2017

Limmud Collage 5-12-17

Camp Am Yisrael: Learn-By-Play (0-3 year olds)

Every time I walk into this room and see so many adorable little children with their parents, grandparents and/or other family members I am reminded that this class is unique.  We love our Sunday morning gatherings with this group.  We encourage this group to continue meeting in the upcoming school year and will be talking about that the next couple of weeks.  -Mr. Sherman

Gan (3-6 year olds) 

We discussed the difference in size between Israel and Illinois.  The children were shocked at how small Israel really is.  We read the story “Sammy Spiders trip to Israel” which the children seemed to really enjoy.  We also made a good bye book for Zack who will be leaving for college in the Fall (shh…this is a secret).  Tefillah was filled with lots of ruach (spirit) as always. -Morah Lynn

Aleph (1st Grade) 

This week the Aleph students were able to celebrate Israel in Omanut (Art Class) by each student making his/her own painting of the Israeli flag.  Students continued to learn about Israel when they returned from Omanut. Some facts they learned were:
~Israel is the bridge between Asia and Africa
~Israel is surrounded by lots of bodies of water. For example the Jordan River, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea
~Israel has over 500,000 birds that migrate there every year
Students also added the letter “Pey” to the letters they have learned so far this year.            -Mrs. Berlow

Bet (2nd Grade) 

Shalom,

This week we started a conversation about Mother’s Day, that has a strong connection to the values espoused in the Torah. We talked about Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah and the role they played in Jewish history.  We continued working in Hebrew Step-By-Step folders and had Omanut (Art) at the end of the session. -Morah Anna

Gimel (3rd Grade) 

Shalom Gimel Families,

This week we explored how trying to bring about Shalom, peace, is central to Judaism and the Jewish people.

Recap: We looked at the “Oseh Shalom” prayer once again and explored how the value of Shalom is central to our prayer services.  We also discussed the holiday of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day”), specifically how it is celebrated in Israel. We emphasized the importance of working toward peace in Israel. In addition, we explored ways that kids are great examples for bringing peace in their own ways in the Middle East, as they play and interact with children of other religions and cultures. Finally, the students explored their own capacity to create peace by using the Peace-o-matic 5000.

Table Talk: What do we know about Israel as a family?  If you have not as yet traveled there, what do you think it would be like to go to Israel?

MyShalomLearning Activity for next week: 3.7.4 Shalom Week 4 

Write a few sentences about which unit you enjoyed learning about this year (or remember the most) and why.  Please upload your writing to My.ShalomLearning.org.

Ivrit:  This week the students studied the בָּרְכוּ (Barchu) and יוֹצֵר אוֹר (Yotzer Or).  The students translated the lines of the prayer, and considered the meaning behind it.  The students looked at the themes from the lines:

בָּרְכוּ אֶת יְיָ הַמְבֹרָךְ

בָּרוּךְ יָיְ הַמּבֹרָךְ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יָיְ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם וּבוֹרֵא אֶת הַכֹּל

Blessed is G-d who is blessed

Bless G-d who is blessed forever and ever

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d King of the universe who forms light and creates darkness who makes peace and creates all things.  Blessed are you Lord, who forms light.

The students looked at the meaning behind “G-d formed light and darkness” and where it’s referring to.

Next week:

Next week we will finish our ShalomLearning Jewish values lessons, with the completion of the seventh and final unit of the curriculum.  We will wrap up this unit with a review game. As we view the Jewish value of Shalom as an important goal for our students and their families, we will explore at how we can use each of the previous values to create Shalom and Shalom Bayit.

***Announcement for next week’s class! Wednesday, May 17th ***

In Jewish tradition, we will end a section of study by sharing a sweet treat so that our learning lingers “as sweet as honey on our tongues.”  If you so choose, please provide your student with a small, sweet (below you will find a list of some items they wished to bring – please feel free to revise accordingly) to celebrate with at the end of class. Then we will say together, “Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek, may you be strengthened and may we strengthen one another,” to close our year as we would close our study of a section of Torah.

Aiton – Fruit roll ups

Nate – Bagels, cream cheese, clementine’s

Issac – carrots/fruit/vegetables/plates

Allie – doughnuts

Sivan – plastic forks

Reece – lemonade

Luca – cups

Tatum – chocolate/marshmallows

B’Shalom,

Mrs. Sender & Morah Myra

Dalet (4th Grade)

The Dalet class led Sunday Morning Minyan for the first time this week! Following our official introduction to the Am Yisrael minyan community, we enjoyed an educational brunch with Rabbi Newman Kamin.  This was an opportunity for parents of Dalet students to get an up-close look at the learning we have been doing throughout the school year. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)
The Dalet Class continued working on the most challenging prayer in our repertoire, the Ashrei.  Our focus was decoding the words through games.    In order to access the prayers that the students as a whole chant so beautifully, please go to the following link on our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html.  -Mrs. Moustakis

Heh (5th Grade)

We were introduced to the Empty Bowls Project, a fundraising effort to help alleviate food insecurity.  In preparation for what we hope will be many Empty Bowls dinners, students sketched out designs for actual bowls that they will decorate in the coming weeks for use in this unique program. Please ask your child for more details about how this program works. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)
This week our class continued discussing the meaning of the Omer.  The students also learned about the 33 of the Omer, or Lag Ba’Omer and Shavuot.  Our focus on Shavuot is how the slave nation became a free nation with law and a leader went forward to Eretz Israel.  Finally, we discussed the reason that we eat dairy on this holiday. -Mrs. Moustakis

Shalom,
This week students were learning tunes to ” Gesher Tzar Me’od“, “Ani ve’atah” and “Amar Rabbi Akiva.”  Later, during rehearsal with Cantor Simon, the students did an outstanding job singing together as a group. -Morah Anna

This past Sunday in Torah Trope, the Heh students reviewed the “choreography” of the Torah service and studied the Torah (aliyah) blessings.  Students learned that you congratulate a person who has received and aliyah by saying “Yashir Koach,” and the honoree responds “Baruch t’hi’ye.”  -Mr. Lerner

Vav (6th Grade)

This week we learned what the definition of conflict is and how it pertains to Israel. In order to understand conflict it helps to try and see where it started, if possible.   In the simplest of forms we tried to see where the Israel/Arab conflict started.  We drew a small family tree of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar.  Please ask your child what the connection between the Jews and Arabs has in common.  -Mr. Arnet

We went to the Sanctuary to pair with Zayin students. During our time in the Sanctuary we practiced important tefillot (prayers) with coaching from Zayin.  Several students incorporated creative motion and music with their text learning. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)
This past Sunday in B’nai Mitzvah Academy, the Vav students reviewed the “choreography” of the Torah service and studied the Torah (aliyah) blessings.  Students learned that you congratulate a person who has received and aliyah by saying “Yashir Koach,” and the honoree responds “Baruch t’hi’ye.”  We also reviewed the blessings after the haftarah.  -Mr. Lerner

Zayin (7th Grade)

Continuing out unit on the power of speech, we studied a text from the beginning of Genesis as well as one from Numbers Chapter 12. Students were asked to compare these, and consider what each has to say about the way our choice of words and the intent behind them can change the world. We also watched a video on tzara’at, an illness in the Torah commonly translated as “leprosy,” but actually referring to a spiritual malady, commonly associated with inappropriate speech, whose symptoms do not exactly match any illness known to modern medicine. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

This week we learned what the definition of conflict is and how it pertains to Israel. In order to understand conflict it helps to try and see where it started, if possible.   In the simplest of forms we tried to see where the Israel/Arab conflict started.  We drew a small family tree of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar.  Please ask your child what the connection between the Jews and Arabs has in common.  -Mr. Arnet

This week in Zayin the students looked at the French election and the two candidates.  The students looked at the possible effects on the Jewish community, Israel, and international policies if each of the candidates were to win the election.  This led to further discussion on international policies and how they effect us as members of the Jewish community.Mrs. Sender

Prozdor (8th Grade)

This week we learned what the definition of conflict is and how it pertains to Israel. In order to understand conflict it helps to try and see where it started, if possible.   In the simplest of forms we tried to see where the Israel/Arab conflict started.  We drew a family tree of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar.  It was a very important review of our Avot (Patriarchs) and Imahot (Matriarchs).  The students asked many questions about Hagar and her role with regards to Abraham. Please ask your child what the connection between the Jews and Arabs has in common. Lastly they were questioning the believability of Sarah actually having a child in her 90s.  It was very excited to see how many questions the students have and this demonstrates clearly the importance of continuing Jewish learning throughout life.  -Mr. Arnet

Pardes (9th & 10th Grades)

Pardes students visited the Islamic Foundation in Libertyville on Sunday.  The students showed amazing intellectual curiosity and asked a multitude of well thought out questions. Our host openly said we had the sharpest students who ever visited them. Students discovered parallels between Islam and Judaism, including dietary restrictions and the requirement to be good stewards of the Earth. -Cantor Simon

Am Yisrael SJS Highlights: Sun, Apr 30 & Wed, May 3, 2017

Limmud Collage 5-5-17.png

Camp Am Yisrael: Learn-By-Play (0-3 year olds)

This week Rabbi Newman Kamin read a story to the class.  As usual, the kids had a wonderful opportunity to learn-by-play with their parents by their sides further developing their friendships.  Mr. Marc, the parents and kids sang Tefillah together as usual and a good time was had by all.  -Mr. Sherman

Gan (3-6 year olds) 

I asked the children how old Israel is.  The answer is on the window of the classroom.  We then went to the Sanctuary and listened to one of our Madrichim, Alexis Burton sing Hatkivah, which was a big hit since she spends time with us in class.  The children then made a blue/white collage which is also on display on the classroom window.  We were treated to a very musical Tefillah with Mr. Marc, which the children truly enjoyed.             -Morah Lynn

Aleph (1st Grade) 

Aleph students celebrated Israel this week. We watched as a siren sounded in Israel that brings the whole country to  stand still in respect of the soldiers who have died protecting it. We also learned that Israel will be turning 69 this year! The Aleph students also added the letter Ayin and started putting letters together in order to begin to learn to read.  -Mrs. Berlow

Bet (2nd Grade) 

Shalom,

Today students learned about the founding of the State of Israel and about its first prime minister David Ben Gurion and his vision for the Negev.  Next, the students learned about the father of modern Zionism Theoder Herzel and the meaning and impact of the statement “If you will it, it is no dream.”  We learned how Hebrew became a modern spoken language through the work of  Eliezer Ben Yehudah and his family.  We joined our friends in the Sanctuary to honor the memory of the brave Israeli soldiers for defending our Jewish homeland and celebrated Israel’s 69th year of independence. -Morah Anna

Gimel (3rd Grade) 

 

The Gimel students learned about the mitzvah projects of SJS Zayin students along with the rest of the school.  We memorialized the Israeli soldiers who dedicated their lives to our Jewish homeland and celebrated Israel’s 69th birthday.  The students continued their Jewish values curriculum and reinforced their Hebrew and Tefillah skills through activities in the classroom and prayers in the Sanctuary. -Mr. Sherman

Dalet (4th Grade)

The Dalet students learned about the mitzvah projects of SJS Zayin students along with the rest of the school.  We memorialized the Israeli soldiers who dedicated their lives to our Jewish homeland and celebrated Israel’s 69th birthday.  The Dalet students had an opportunity to do a question and answer session with the Zayin students about their B’nai Mitzvah projects and brainstormed possibilities for future mitzvah projects based on the Dalet students interests.  -Mr. Sherman
Mazal Tov to our Dalet students for joining Heh on the bimah this past Friday evening to help Cantor Simon and the Shabbatones Band lead services.  This week we worked on reading the prayers that the students will help lead on the bimah for Sunday morning services.  Many of these prayers can be found on this link: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html.  -Mrs. Moustakis

Heh (5th Grade)

Mazal Tov to our Heh students for joining Dalet on the bimah this past Friday evening to help Cantor Simon and the Shabbatones Band lead services.  In class we discussed Lag B’omer and the connection with Rabbi Akiva & Shimon Bar Yochi and about the importance of studying Torah.  We also reviewed three songs focused on Jewish values and sang them with Cantor Simon.  We look forward to performing them for the entire SJS community at an end of year assembly coming up soon. -Mrs. Moustakis

Shalom, the end of the year at SJS is approaching soon. This week students continued learning the lyrics in Hebrew and tunes of songs for the end of the year presentation. We had our first rehearsal with Cantor Simon.  -Morah Anna

The services this past Sunday at SJS were very moving. Having been in Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut, listing to the siren on the video brought back so many memories. The transformation from a day of sorrow to a day of joy is so hard to comprehend unless you are there first hand to witness it.  The kids could truly feel joy and sorrow as if they were personally in Israel. The only thing missing were the patesheem (toy squeaky hammers) that everyone goes around bopping people on the head with when Yom Ha’atzmaot starts. Maybe next year 🙂   -Mr. Arnet

The Heh students had an opportunity to do a question and answer session with the Zayin students about their B’nai Mitzvah projects and brainstormed possibilities for future mitzvah projects based on the Heh students interests.  -Mr. Sherman

Vav (6th Grade)

The services this past Sunday at SJS were very moving. Having been in Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut, listing to the siren on the video brought back so many memories. The transformation from a day of sorrow to a day of joy is so hard to comprehend unless you are there first hand to witness it.  The kids could truly feel joy and sorrow as if they were personally in Israel. The only thing missing were the patesheem (toy squeaky hammers) that everyone goes around bopping people on the head with when Yom Ha’atzmaut starts. Maybe next year 🙂   -Mr. Arnet

We continue to work on siddur practice, with an eye toward accurate pronunciation. After students have put in a reasonable amount of siddur work and demonstrated progress, they now have the option of working on the Duolingo Hebrew for English speakers app. This allows them to build vocabulary and grammatical understanding, as well as improve their comfort with unvoweled texts—an important skill for anyone nearing the age of bat or bar mitzvah. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)
The Vav students had an opportunity to do a question and answer session with the Zayin students about their B’nai Mitzvah projects and brainstormed possibilities for future mitzvah projects based on the Vav students interests.  -Mr. Sherman

Zayin (7th Grade)

Mazal Tov to our Zayin students and their families for inspiring so many outstanding mitzvah projects on Sun, Apr 30.  The Zayin students presented their projects to the entire community and after the school-wide presentation, led a question and answer session about their projects with the Dalet, Heh and Vav students.  Special thanks to the students who presented on behalf of the few students who couldn’t attend and to the teachers, Morah Sandra, Mr. S. and Mr. Arnet for all of their support throughout this process.  The mitzvah project tri-folds can be found lining the hallway on the first floor of the SJS building. -Mr. Sherman

The services this past Sunday at SJS were very moving. Having been in Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut, listing to the siren on the video brought back so many memories. The transformation from a day of sorrow to a day of joy is so hard to comprehend unless you are there first hand to witness it.  The kids could truly feel joy and sorrow as if they were personally in Israel. The only thing missing were the patesheem (toy squeaky hammers) that everyone goes around bopping people on the head with when Yom Ha’atzmaut starts. Maybe next year 🙂   -Mr. Arnet

Returning to our curricular unit on koach hadibbur, the power of speech, we drew free-associative “brain maps” centered around the word “Jew.” We then examined a very recent New York Times op-ed column on different connotations of that word. We determined that, while it is clearly a less-than-ideal term in many people’s minds (often rejected in favor of describing someone as “Jewish”), the young people in our classroom felt that no such hesitancy existed in their conversational lives. We then talked about the ways in which other terms can be harmful or helpful as descriptors, depending on context and history. –Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

Prozdor (8th Grade)

This week we took a moment to discuss some of the wars Israel fought to become the nation it is today. We read a famous article written by a general at West Point. Please ask your child about the article and what there thoughts are regarding what the general had to say.  -Mr. Arnet

Pardes (9th & 10th Grades)

The Pardes class visited the Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopalian Church of Lake Forest, witnessed a Sunday service and met with the same young people who visited Am Yisrael a couple of months ago.  It was an outstanding experience, promoting compassion and understanding, recognition of our commonalities and respect for our differences.  The youth minister of the church accommodated us by bringing in kosher food at the Highland Park Jewel so we would be comfortable.

We will soon be planning a joint “Mitzvah Project” with the church centered around a food pantry or “Feed my Starving Children,” to take place during the next school year.

-Cantor Simon

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